The group of students with Hein Wagner

Visually-impaired students travel to Eqypt

Fourteen visually-impaired students from the Hein Wagner Academy have travelled to Egypt for specialised communications and information technology training. The training is conducted by the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities (NAID) in Cairo, Egypt, and the students are hosted by the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

The Hein Wagner Academy recently became a registered Cisco Networking Academy, and the partnership with Cisco CSR made the opportunity a reality. The training completed in Egypt will determine which ten of the students qualify to enrol in an upcoming one-year Cyber Security training programme, which will be offered in partnership with ABSA, Cisco Networking Academy and CompTIA. On completion, these ten students will qualify as associate-level cyber security analysts. Soso Motloung, Programme Manager at Cisco, says

“This kind of community impact is what inspires the Cisco Networking Academy to continue being the bridge to possibilities”.

In collaboration with Boland College, the Hein Wagner Academy also offers accredited DHET N4 – N6 courses (National Diploma) to visually-impaired students. The training environment is accessible to the visually impaired and lecturers are highly skilled, resulting in qualified graduates who become financially independent members of society. The students in Egypt are currently enrolled in either N4 Marketing Management or Management Assistant courses, with the goal of continuing to N5 and N6 levels.

“As part of our strategic drive to be more inclusive, Boland College has entered into a partnership with the Hein Wagner Academy at Worcester to enable blind/severely visually-impaired students the opportunity to obtain a qualification. We are grateful for a further opportunity presented to these students by the Arab Republic of Egypt by extending an invitation to these students to attend a two-week training and capacity-building programme in Egypt. We believe that the intervention will grant them a growth and development experience in a wide sense. We are already looking forward to their feedback on the experience!” says Mrs Johanna Coetzee, Principal of Boland College.

The Hein Wagner Academy was founded in January 2019 by Hein Wagner, blind extreme adventurer and visionary, after the closure of the post-matric training department of Innovation for the Blind (previously the Institute for the Blind). In July 2019, the Hein Wagner Academy had its first intake of 21 visually-impaired students from all over South Africa for N4 courses with the support of, and in partnership with, Boland College.

For more information on the Hein Wagner Academy, please see their website: For more information about the project, contact Mrs Anneline Taljaard, Psychometrician and Disability Unit at Boland College on 021 886 7111.